Is WAVE a cleantech fund?
No. WAVE avoids technologies that require subsidies (solar, wind, biofuel, etc.), as well as those technologies/markets that are unproven or immature (electric car, nuclear fusion, etc.)
Is this a project or infrastructure investment fund?
No. WAVE does not invest in project debt/equity. It owns companies that have differentiated proprietary IP and an ability to build large scale operations with modest equity.
How does WAVE work with the portfolio companies?
WAVE Equity Partners (WAVE) is a private equity firm that provides growth stage investments. As an equity partner in your business, WAVE will provide both capital and strategic guidance to accelerate your business growth. In return, we will ask for an equity position in the company in proportion to the risk and the amount of investment. Therefore, you do not have to repay the capital; rather, our stake is tied to the future performance of the business. We take a very active role to ensure successful business execution. However, you should see us as a coach and a close confidante, rather than as a member of your executive team. We harbor no illusions as to who creates success—you alone can fashion your path to success; we just provide ideas, resources and cheerful motivation along the way.
How much do you invest? At what stage?
WAVE will typically lead a Series A or B round of investment. It expects to provide a majority of the growth capital of the company over time. Typically, it would invest $10M – $15M in a company, and would deploy additional capital for commercializing the product in additional markets. When possible, we like to be the first institutional investor.
We are raising Series C and have a commercial-ready solution? Will WAVE be interested?
When a company has already raised capital from several other institutional investors, it becomes harder for us to execute our investment strategy. WAVE will consider participating in later institutional rounds only when we see a strong alignment of strategy with the company’s Board and management.
What attributes are important for your investment decision?
We like a company that owns a proprietary, transformational technology that has demonstrable ability to build profitable applications for multiple markets. If the answer is yes to the following questions, WAVE would be interested in talking with you:
- Can your technology build applications for several large, non-overlapping markets?
- Do these markets exhibit latent, pent-up demand today?
- Is the technology scalable and competitively superior?
- Does the founding team have the core competency to continue product development? (It is fine if the team lacks a CEO or other functional managers.)
Why should I choose WAVE over other venture firms?
WAVE pursues a very different investment model that attempts to unlock the full value of a technology. If you believe that your technology has the ability to penetrate multiple markets, our model will have both emotional and financial appeal to you. The WAVE model allows your innovation to influence multiple markets most speedily and efficiently. It also has the potential to generate greater financial rewards for the founding team.
Do you expect us to do all the heavy lifting for targeting new markets?
The entrepreneurial process is never easy, but we bring several resources to the company that ease the process of entering new markets. We structure the company differently, bringing in resources that are dedicated to specific markets and functions. As a founder, you will begin partnering with experienced industry professionals who will help you create robust business foundations from the very start.
What is the process after I submit my company information?
You should expect a qualification statement within two weeks from a WAVE partner after you submit your information. One of the benefits of having a very precise investment strategy is that it leads to quick assessment of strategic fit. WAVE plans to invest in less than ten platform companies over several years, so the due diligence process is very detailed and can span several months. We encourage you to contact us directly without worrying about personal recommendations.
What is WAVE’s holding period and exit strategy?
Our investment strategy aims to generates multiple liquidation events for the founders. When things go right, the founders should begin to realize returns in as little as 5 years from the date of initial investment. Our model does not presume a blockbuster IPO to generate a healthy outcome for the founders.
Does the WAVE team have enough experience in the essential industries?
We have been making money for the past 15 years with the core elements of our strategy, utilizing our experiences in industrial operations, manufacturing and energy finance. We have built many successful companies and have a track record of sourcing, selecting, mentoring and harvesting profitable investments. Each member of the team brings varying degrees of operating experiences in the industrial and energy sectors and most have invested across technology sectors for nearly a decade or longer.
Why doesn’t WAVE sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA)?
WAVE does not sign NDAs because it would open us up to potential litigation and would seriously limit the amount and type of deals we may want to evaluate for our portfolio. Since we see several business plans with overlapping ideas and markets, NDAs can open us to indiscriminate lawsuits or, at the very least, distract us from pursuing business of innovation and board responsibilities.